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This year has been an eventful one here at AAMA, which meant this July’s annual summer Staff Week was even more important. Each year, AAMA thanks its staff for all it does with a weeklong event each summer, as well as with a holiday-themed Staff Week in December. During these two weeks, we dedicate a handful of hours to fun activities for our staff to do together.

Several AAMA staff members work remotely from their home offices in other states, so it is important to get everyone in one place when we can. Additionally, we are a staff of 24, all driving different initiatives in pursuit of the same goal: Serving our membership. Having everyone together for some fun helps keep our team connected, allows us to appreciate each other as people not just as employees, and rewards employees for the hard work they contribute throughout the year.

This July, for AAMA staff week, our team volunteered together at nearby Feed My Starving Children, filling and packing rice and nutrient packets for those living in underprivileged nations. Each volunteer had a role, whether it was scooping ingredients, holding and weighing the bags, sealing bags or preparing the boxes for shipment – but we all worked toward that common goal of sending food to those in need. We had a potluck lunch one day and even went off site for an afternoon to catch a Schaumburg Boomers baseball game.

With the struggles companies face today recruiting new employees, it is more important than ever to find ways to keep the great employees you already have. Taking some time to show employees that they are more than a number, that their hard work is not only appreciated but rewarded, and that your company values having its employees know one another beyond just understanding someone’s job function can go a long way to creating a healthy, satisfying work environment. It is easy for individual workers or even teams to get siloed within a company, so cultivate a management team that shares the vision of maintaining happy, fulfilled team members who, in return, all seek to help achieve the company’s mission.

See what your team can do, whether it means encouraging managers to take their teams out to lunch, surprising employees with a small gift card or hosting a Staff Appreciation Day with a fun social event everyone can enjoy. You will see the benefits of getting your folks together to feel valued.